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Taiwan to help Indonesian island develop agriculture

2012/08/11 22:34:05

Morotai, Indonesia, Aug. 11 (CNA) The Republic of China government is planning to offer technical assistance to develop agriculture in Morotai, a remote Indonesian island, officials from a Taiwanese government-affiliated organization assigned to carry out the project said Saturday.

The officials from Taiwan's International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF) were making a fact-finding tour of the island to facilitate implementation of the program.

Due to water shortage, the quality and yield of vegetables in Morotai is not good, said Lin Yen-jen, chief of the Taiwan Technical Mission in Indonesia who accompanied the ICDF group on the tour.

Lin said, however, the technical mission could pass on agricultural techniques to help residents establish special zones for planting fruit and vegetable crops such as squash, pineapple and guava, in line with a project to develop the island as a tourist destination.

The majority of Morotai residents rely on fishing, and their rice crops cannot be sold on market because of low quality, said Wu Chiung-feng, a member of the ICDF delegation, after meeting with local farmers and government representatives.

Despite the low quality of its crops, Wu said, the island has the potential to grow high-yield and high-quality rice through techniques provided by the Taiwanese mission.

Morotai, located in northeastern Indonesia's North Maluku Province, has a population of 50,000 and an area of some 2,400 square kilometers.

The development project resulted from a request by the Indonesian government for Taiwan to help plan the island's development, according to the ICDF.

In 2011, Taiwan reached an agreement with Indonesia to jointly develop the remote Indonesian island as a tourist destination.

(By Jay Chou and Hanna Liu)